My family eats about a 1/4 cup each of blueberries every single day, usually with a bowl of steel cut oats in the morning or in an afternoon smoothie. Blueberries are considered to have one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all other fruits and vegetables. They are low on the glycemic index, and a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese. When it was local blueberry season this past summer we bought two 25 lbs boxes to stock up our freezer. This way we get to enjoy the juicy plump blueberries all year long.
Its a big job washing all of them and freezing on single cookie sheets, then throwing them in freezer bags, but nothing compares to local berries. When you buy the frozen packaged ones in stores they are so tiny and messy, they always stain my hands! Not only are the local ones bigger but they’re much sweeter too. I also really enjoy the convenience of pulling out a scoop of blueberries from the freezer whenever we want to add it to smoothies, jams, sauces, and desserts.
One of the ways I use blueberries is in a Raw Blueberry Ginger Jam. I don’t like buying pre made jams from the store since most are loaded with sugar and contain preservatives or other additives. Since raw blueberries provide you with the greatest nutritional benefits, I make a raw jam versus the standard ones you bring to a boil prior to putting in the fridge. This jam also doesn’t require pectin or other thickening agents. I use the powerful chia seed to thicken the jam. Chia seeds can absorb up to twelve times its own weight, and contains one of the most concentrated amounts of omega 3’s. It also contains calcium which is an additional benefit. The ginger I add is to give it a bit of a zing and really goes well with the blueberries. The ginger also provides an anti-inflammatory effect, reduces nausea symptoms, and helps to boost your immune system. I don’t add too much otherwise my boys wouldn’t eat it, but feel free to add more ginger to make it spicier. Or if you don’t like the flavour of ginger simply leave it out.
This jam comes together quickly by blending everything in a high speed blender. Simply blend until desired consistency. I make ours fairly smooth, again so my boys will eat it. You could always smash up some additional blueberries and stir in at the end if you prefer yours to have a chunkier texture. Simply spoon the mixture into a glass jar with a lid and place in the fridge to set. We use the jam on our toast, in nut butter sandwiches, spread on pancakes, or stirred into a bowl of steel cut oats. It keeps in the fridge for about 2 weeks, although ours never lasts that long!
- 2 tbsp Chia Seeds
- 2 cups Blueberries, fresh or frozen and thawed
- 2-3 tbsp Honey or Maple Syrup, to taste
- 1 tbsp Fresh Ginger or ½ tsp Ground Ginger (increase for more zing or omit)
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- Put chia seeds into a high speed blender and blend to grind the seeds.
- Add the blueberries, honey, ginger and lemon juice. Pulse until well blended.
- Pour into a jar with a lid and place in the fridge for the jam to thicken.
- Keeps in fridge for about 2 weeks.